86 students awarded USAID scholarships
Islamabad, June 03: A meeting of the Scholarship Management Committee was held at Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat on Wednesday to approve scholarships for 86 needy students of the academic year 2009-10 under the USAID funded 'Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Programme'.
HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi chaired the meeting, which was attended by representatives of participating institutions, eminent scholars and senior HEC officials.
The selected students belong to the Institute of Business Administration, (IBA) Karachi, Quaid-i-Azam University, (QAU) Islamabad, NWFP Agriculture University, Peshawar and Balochistan University of Information Technology, Eng-ineering and Management Sciences.
The students will complete their education by December 2011 on scholarships that cover tuition fees, transportation expenditures, costs of books and lodging.
HEC, in collaboration with the US government, initiated 'Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Programme' to provide assistance to talented and needy students who are unable to continue their education due to financial constraints. Daily timesYour Comments
For FDE it is no problem, but it is kids who will suffer
Islamabad: Parents of children studying in various academic institutions under the control of the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) are perturbed over the announcement of summer vacation from June 18, unlike others, where holidays had begun on June 1 in the wake of extremely hot weather.
The summer vacation in educational institutions under the FDE usually start in the first week of June in order to protect students from extreme weather conditions. However this time around, it has decided to hold sports events instead of holidays during first two weeks of the current month.
According to information available, the first phase of sports activities has started from May 31 and it would continue till June 4. The second phase would be organised between June 7 and June 14. Students will take part in different games, including cricket, hockey, volleyball and football.
Parents termed the decision to this effect extremely unwise and urged the FDE to announce holidays as soon as possible. "It is hard to believe that the directorate has decided to organize sports in this weather. Why couldn't they find some better time for this?" asked Shamim Murtaza, a mother of two.
According to sources, the idea of organising sports week instead of holidays was not welcomed by principals and teachers, but the FDE implemented the decision.
"We were preparing our children for the examinations. It was a shock to know that the examinations had been postponed due to the sports activities and holidays have been delayed," said Jabbar Ghafoor, a father of three.
Ghafoor said that it was something cruel on the part of the authorities for making students play in such a hot weather. "If schools across the country have announced the vacation from June 1 then why not the institutions under the FDE could do so?" he questioned.
FDE (Training) Director Dr. Tanveer Kiani, who according to sources is the main force behind the decision, refused to comment and asked this scribe to contact the FDE spokesman.
FDE Spokesperson Ashraf Nadeem, when contacted said that the decision was taken when the weather was not so hot. "It is for the last three days that the weather has turned to such an extreme," he said. He added that he was at a dentist's clinic and would call back, which he never did.
FDE Director General Shaheen Khan, while talking to this scribe, said that the weather in Islamabad was perfectly right for holding such activities. She said that the vacation in Punjab would formally start after June 14. "The vacation of children studying in class one to class five would start on June 7," she said.
Shaheen said that the mega sports event would formally be inaugurated by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on June 14 and it would be concluded on June 18. The examination would be conducted after summer vacation. She said that all courses would be covered in the summer camp, which would be organised for one month.
Students of private schools suffer in sweltering weather
Rawalpindi: The parents of children studying in private academic institutions have appealed to the Punjab government to take steps against school and college owners for not following its orders regarding summer vacation with effect from June 1.
The government schools and colleges have been closed down for summer vacation on June 1. However private educational institutes are still holding classes. The sweltering weather is taking its toll on little souls due to frequent power outages.
On Wednesday, dozens of students suffered from nose bleeding and dehydration. It was also learnt that several people suffered dehydration in the city.
Chief Meteorologist Muhammad Hanif told this scribe that people in Rawalpindi-Islamabad faced 40 degrees Celsius temperature, whereas the humidity level was 21. The temperature and humidity was too much for adults what to say of children, he added.
District Headquarters Hospital Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr. Zafar Mehmood admitted that several people, who had suffered from dehydration on Wednesday, were brought to the hospital for treatment. He said that people should try to protect their heads with a cap or a piece of cloth to avoid direct sunlight. "On the other hand, private educational institutions should be closed down so that children may not suffer in such a hot weather. The school managements should either close down their premises or stop children from playing outdoors," he suggested.
Rawalpindi Association of Private Schools (RAPS) General Secretary Group Captain (r) Asif Mehmood admitted that most children were not attending classes due to hot weather. He said that private schools were continuing their classes because they had scheduled examinations of first term and they could not cancel them. He said if the government of Punjab had intimated them the plan of summer vacation in advance, then they could have altered their plan. He also agreed to the point the summer vacation schedule of all academic institutions should be the same.
Comstech conference on 9th
Islamabad: OIC's Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (Comstech) in collaboration with the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and International Council for the Life Sciences is organising a 2-day conference on 'Conduct of Responsible Science, Safety, Security and Ethics', at its secretariat here from June 9.
The major objectives of the conference will be to promote the concept of conduct of responsible science among the scientists themselves, to promote the idea that science should not be misused to harm humanity; to promote respect for the scientific professions in a way appropriate for society, to enhance the contribution of science to the socio-economic well-being of Pakistani community and to build a sustainable network in Pakistan that meets and publishes regularly on key issues related to the conduct of safe, secure and ethical research. The news
Call to affiliate capital colleges with QAU
Islamabad: Leader of the house in the Senate and Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari has called for affiliation of all colleges in Islamabad with Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU). He assured the university staff members that he would make every effort to get a housing scheme approved for them.
Speaking as chief guest at the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected office-bearers of QAU Employees Welfare Association on Wednesday, he urged the QAU administration to give affiliation to all the federal colleges of Islamabad to award degrees.
He said former prime minister Benazir Bhutto had promised to resolve the issue of housing scheme of QAU employees and the present government would fulfil her promise and commitment. He said he would take the issue to the concerned standing committee of the Senate where all the stakeholders would be invited to give their input.
He called for steps to protect environment within the university premises and said every effort would be made to stop the practice of cutting trees inside and around the campus.
He said Quaid-i-Azam University was the country's best university and to make it an international university, the faculty members, students, administration and employees would have to play their role.
Mr Bokhari appreciated the decision of the QAU vice-chancellor to establish schools of economics, political sciences, international relations and mathematics through public-private partnership. He said launching of BS courses in the university would be a landmark achievement. Dawn
Exhibition at QAU: Bringing out the bright side of the US
Islamabad: With a need to revive cordial relations with the US, an exhibition titled 'Freedom Train Exhibition', organized by the M Phil students of the Area Study Centre, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), started on Wednesday. So far, the centre has held a number of events including video conferences, seminars, workshops and roundtable talks but this exhibition was of a unique type in which a collection of political, economic, social and cultural artefacts, including models of the Bill of Rights, the Statue of Liberty, Norman Rockwell's freedom paintings, depictions of jazz, baseball, Coca Cola, McDonald, KFC, American Idol, cowboy culture etc were put on display to provide an insight into the rich American culture. The students brought Americans to the fore through the display of unique models related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the US. They were also eager to explain the historical importance of their artifacts.
The models were starkly striking, depicting an overall picture of American aura with a fusion of traditional and contemporary embellishments. The Jazz music and dazzling images gave a colorful touch to the event and enchanted the audience. The tremendous venture by the students marked the day resplendently and the fabulous exhibition continued attracting scores of people from across the twin cities. Dr. Masoom Yasin Zai, Vice Chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam and Dr. Rukhsana Qamber, Director of the Centre, inaugurated the exhibition. Dr. Qamber commented in her short speech that the event was an endeavor to understand the US at ground level, hence promoting the excellent bilateral relations between two countries.
A large number of people from different walks of life attended the event. Many Americans were also invited on the occasion and a look at the objects flooded them with memories of America. During the exhibition, Pakistani people got a unique opportunity to familiarize themselves with American citizens and their culture amid pleasantries and smiles. On the other hand, the students seemed enthusiastic to flaunt their Americana projects on U.S. history. Vice Chancellor QAU and Jonathan D. Cebra Public Affairs Officer at US Consulate in Peshawar were the chief guests on the occasion. The exhibition opened with a short presentation by Jonathan D. Cebra explaining US culture through artifacts.
Housing scheme for QAU employees soon: Bokhari
Islamabad: Leader of the House in Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari has assured employees of the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) that proposed housing scheme for them would soon be translated into reality.
Addressing QAU employees at the oath-taking ceremony of the office bearers of university's Employees Welfare Association (EWA) at Science Auditorium of the university on Wednesday, he added that he would take up the matter in the meeting of Senate's Standing Committee on Housing, where all the stakeholders would be taken on board.
Bokhari appreciated the decision of QAU Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Masoom Yasin Zai to establish School of Economics, School of Political Sciences and International Relations and School of Mathematics at the university's premises, where BS level courses would be offered.
Bokhari called upon all segments of the society to rise above religious, sectarian, political and ethnic differences and forge unity.
He said prior to demanding rights, we must ensure we performed our duties wholeheartedly.
QAU VC Professor Masoom Yaseen Zai, Senator Doctor Saeeda Iqbal, IPDF Chairman Ghulam Murtaza Satti and others also addressed the employees. Daily times
IIU holds seminar on
Islamabad: The faculty of Social Sciences of the International Islamic University (IIU) here Wednesday organised a seminar on `Peace Process between India and Pakistan'.
Addressing the seminar, Editor-in-Chief of Quaid-i-Azam Papers Akram Shaheedi said that forthcoming visit of the Indian Foreign Minister next month in Islamabad to meet the Foreign Minister of Pakistan is a manifestation of the international interest in the resumption of talks between Pakistan and India which were suspended after Mumbai attack on November 26, 2008.
He said the heartening change in the stance of the Indian leadership towards Pakistan after the 16th Saarc Summit meeting will improve the environment of talks scheduled to be held next month between the two foreign ministers. He referred to the news report published in a section of press in which the Indian foreign minister was quoted as having said, 'India has no reservations about Pakistan's commitment to fight terrorism'.
He said that signal emanating from the Indian capital suggested that the on-going negotiations between Pakistan and India to resolve the water issue, which has assumed dangerous dimension in the recent past, will get the maximum attention meant to endeavour to address the Pakistan's concern within the ambit of the Indus Water Treaty.
Shaheedi observed the international community led by the United States was keen to see India and Pakistan as good neighbours so that both the countries could devote their maximum resources and energies to fight out the common enemy viz., terrorism that posed a real threat to way of life of the whole world. Stalemate in their relations is only good news for the terrorists as they had already succeeded in derailing the peace process after November 26, 2008.
Dr. Professor Zia-ul-Haq in his concluding remarks urged the youth to get ready to assume the role of the nation building as they are the future builders of the country. He said Pakistan optimised the graciousness of Almighty to the people who would have been further marginalised in the absence of the creation of Pakistan.
He rejected terrorism by describing it as the heinous crime against humanity and the religion of Islam in particular. Who would endorse their abhorrent acts of killing, destroying seats of learning and places of worship, he asked. These misguided people provided enough material to the opponents of Islam, which is a religion of peace, harmony and tolerance, he added.
Akhtar Sindhu, the organiser, thanked the speakers and the participants for sparing time to attend the seminar.
FAPUASA movement in favour of its demands soon
Islamabad: Professor Mahr Saeed Akhtar, President of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association, has announced that FAPUASA will soon start a movement in favour of its demands which had not been even discussed in the relevant bodies of Higher Education Commission despite promise and passage of two months.
In an angry tone, the FAPUASA chief said on phone from Lahore that the movement will be the first step and FAPUASA is holding a press conference in the National Press Club in the federal capital on Thursday to brief newspersons about the issue and discus other modes of action next week.
He expressed his dismay and regrets over the attitude of minions of Higher Education Commission which despite a passage of two months had done nothing to take the promised actions. He said that in a meeting with the members of General Body, Dr Javaid Leghari, Chairperson, and Dr Suhail Naqvi, Executive Director, of HEC respectively had promised to place their various demands before the relevant HEC bodies for a decision soon. They appeared sympathetic to teachers demands and a positive outcome appeared on the cards, but the high-ups at the commission failed to take any action in this respect, he said.
Dr Akhtar addressing a press conference at National Press Club on April 7 had stated that in a meeting between the Federation and HEC earlier on the day, HEC Chairperson Dr Javaid Leghari agreed to revoke retrospective implementation of decisions and asked FAPUASA to identify such decisions.
The FAPUASA president had expressed his hope that the amicable discussion at HEC would lead to defer the new criteria for promotion. He said that in future HEC would not impose its decisions but would let the universities exercise autonomy.
According to him, the meeting had also discussed hardship cases and reached the conclusion that the faculty members who have not been promoted for decades, should be promoted to next grade in their own cadre as was done in many universities in the country. Dr Akhtar said that now that Tandu Jam University of Agriculture and Sindh University have also adopted the upgradation mechanism, it is high time that other universities adopt it. The news
City School students raise donations for SOS Village
Rawalpindi: The nursery branch of City School, Satellite Town on Tuesday presented gifts and donation to children of SOS Village, a private social welfare organisation providing shelter and care to orphan and abandoned children.
A City School team, led by principal Maria Waqas visited SOS Village and presented gifts and donations raised by the school children for them.
She also met different children of the village and appreciated the efforts of the whole group running this place. Management and children of the SOS Village thanked The City School and their children for raising funds for them.
The schoolchildren raised the donation during a very colorful and fun filled activity with the theme "sharing is caring". They also organised a week-long food festival to raise funds. Dawn